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Tow-in Surfing: A Sport for the Extreme Surfer
As if surfing was not extreme enough, we now have tow-in surfing, for extreme surfers. TowSurfer.com explains, "Tow Surfing or Tow-In Surfing is a relatively modern water recreational boating sport that was developed by the creative efforts of Laird Hamilton and Strapped Crew surfers in Hawaii in the early 90's."
It is similar to wakeboarding, surfing, and waterskiing but in tow surfing, a person is towed behind a vessel utilizing an extension rope with a grab handle, taking the person out to larger waves than you would be able to get to with regular surfing. Bigger waves are a surfers dream but the biggest of waves are reserved for extreme surfers.
The sport of extreme paddle surfing or tow-in surfing is not for everyone. There are many dangers associated with this extreme sport and it should never be done without proper training and professional assistance. It's very easy to die or be severely harmed from tow-in surfing. It is a high-risk sport and you should never paddle into a large surf alone.
You should provide a float plan with your harbor masters office before you go out and you should always put safety first if attempting tow-in surfing. Tow surfing is never done alone and involves a team- the athlete, the personal watercraft (PWC) and the operator. Teams can be up to five people who share the responsibilities of towing and surfing as well as paying for the equipment.
The sport, which originated in Hawaii, was first only seen in Hawaii and California but is now making it to many other coastal cities as it grows in popularity.
The Association of Professional Towsurfers, founded on March 6, 2003, is another association that can provide you with information on this highly dangerous but interesting sport. They help organize events, spread news about the sport and provide weather updates to those who participate in tow surfing.
While you may not be ready to run out and start tow surfing yourself, there are some exciting videos found online that show you the sport in live action. It will really get your blood pumping just watching these surfers in the most extreme conditions. One tow-surfer was said to have surfed an actual tsunami before.
I love the ocean and I love surfing but here is one extreme sport I think I will leave to the pros!
Lisa is a youth coach, avid runner and overall sports enthusiast. She writes for Y!CN on golf, basketball, football, sports health and nutrition, interesting sports news and more.
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